Smartphones Now Smart Enough to Detect Malaria

Apr 19, 2011

Smartphones: they're GPS, still camera, telephone, web browser and viral video sharer all in one Maybe now we should add lifesaver to that list.

The Lifelens Project turns Windows 7 smartphones into malaria detectors, using a small lens that can inspect blood cells and spot the presence of parasites. The project creators say the app is cheaper and quite a bit more accurate than the field tests currently in use - that means fewer false positives, fewer wasted anti-malarial medications and better outcomes for those affected.

And, since smartphones also have GPS and web capabilities, the data collected by each Lifelens phone can be plugged into a map, to track malaria outbreaks. Put that data next to weather data and researchers might even be able to take an educated guess as to where the next outbreaks could hit, and deploy resources accordingly.

If that isn't mind-blowing enough, it also lets patients play Angry Birds while they're being tested. Ok, not really, but you never know. [via Cnet]

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